nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2021‒04‒05
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Influencers on Economic Issues in Latin America, Spain and the United States By Newland, Carlos; Rosiello, Juan Carlos; Salinas, Roberto
  2. Earnings Inequality and Dynamics in the Presence of Informality: The Case of Brazil By Engbom, Niklas; Gonzaga, Gustavo; Moser, Christian; Olivieri, Roberta
  3. The Pink Tide and Inequality in Latin America By German Feierherd; Patricio Larroulet; Wei Long,; Nora Lustig
  4. Reducing Parent-School Information Gaps and Improving Education Outcomes: Evidence from High-Frequency Text Messages By Samuel Berlinski; Matias Busso; Taryn Dinkelman; Claudia Martínez A.
  5. Intergenerational transmission of lockdown consequences: Prognosis of the longer-run persistence of COVID-19 in Latin America By Guido Neidhöfer; Nora Lustig; Mariano Tommasi

  1. By: Newland, Carlos (The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise); Rosiello, Juan Carlos (The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise); Salinas, Roberto (The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise)
    Abstract: The technological progress in our modern societies has witnessed the emergence of persons who deploy different means of communication across social networks, seeking to generate an impact among their audiences. These efforts in social media communications attempt to alter consumption preferences and patterns, political choices, as well as reinforce or modify opinions of all sorts and stripes. Individuals who attain greater relevance due to effects they trigger on third parties are characterized as influencers, and one of their preferred means of communication are online platforms or social media. Among them, Twitter stands out as the most conducive space for debates on ideas, political parties, or public policies. This social media platform is a microblogging service that allows a person to send short messages (up to 280 characters) that are displayed on a user’s individual page, and that are replicated on their followers’ pages. In this paper, we aim to identify the most important influencers in Latin America, the United States and Spain, who use this social media network to debate issues primarily related to economics and economic policy. On this subject, there is a very strong discussion about the role that the government should play in economic life, the pros and cons of greater regulation, the problem of income distribution, the impact of inflation, and the nature of free markets and capitalism. We will first describe the methodology we employed, in order to then proceed to illustrate a ranking of the ten most relevant influencers, in terms of number of followers, from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Spain, and the United States. We then explore their profiles and present an analysis of the economic issues debated on the relevant Twitter accounts on a per country basis. Finally, based on this analysis, we present a hypothesis on the positioning of influencers in economic matters.
    Date: 2021–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ris:jhisae:0175&r=all
  2. By: Engbom, Niklas; Gonzaga, Gustavo; Moser, Christian; Olivieri, Roberta
    Abstract: Using a combination of rich administrative and household survey data, we document a series of new facts on earnings inequality and dynamics in a developing country with a large informal sector: Brazil. Since the mid-1990s, both inequality and volatility of earnings have declined significantly in Brazil's formal sector. Higher-order moments of the distribution of earnings innovations show similar cyclical movements in Brazil as in developed countries like the U.S. Earnings mobility is comparatively high, especially at the bottom of the distribution. Compared to the formal sector, earnings are more volatile in the informal sector. Workers who switch between sectors experience earnings innovations that have a positive mean and are positively skewed when moving to the formal sector but have a negative mean and are negatively skewed when moving to the informal sector. A secular shift of employment toward the less volatile formal sector since the early 2000s has contributed to a decline in the economy-wide volatility of earnings.
    Keywords: Earnings Inequality, Earnings Volatility, Earnings Mobility, Informality.
    JEL: D31 D33 E24 E26 J31 J46 J62
    Date: 2021–02–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:105758&r=all
  3. By: German Feierherd (Universidad de San Andres); Patricio Larroulet (CEQ Institute); Wei Long, (Tulane University); Nora Lustig (Tulane University)
    Abstract: Latin American countries experienced a significant reduction in income inequality at the turn of the 21st century. From the early 2000s to around 2012, the average Gini coefficient fell from 0.514 to 0.476. The period of falling inequality coincided with leftist presidential candidates achieving electoral victories across the region: by 2009, ten of the seventeen countries had a leftist president – the so-called Pink Tide. We investigate whether there was a “leftist premium” on the decline in inequality and, if there was one, through which mechanisms. Using a range of econometric models, inequality measurements, and samples, we find evidence that leftist governments lowered income inequality faster than non-leftist regimes, increasing the income share captured by the first seven deciles at the expense of the top ten percent. Our analysis suggests that this reduction was achieved by increasing social pensions, minimum wages, and tax revenue.
    Keywords: Income Inequality, Political process, Latin America, Minimum wages, Pensions, Taxes
    JEL: D63 D72 H20 I38 N36 O1
    Date: 2021–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:tul:wpaper:2105&r=all
  4. By: Samuel Berlinski; Matias Busso; Taryn Dinkelman; Claudia Martínez A.
    Abstract: Grade retention and early dropout are two of the biggest challenges facing education systems in middle-income countries today, representing waste in school resources. We investigate whether reducing parent-school information gaps can improve outcomes that are early-warning signals for grade retention and dropout. We conducted an experiment in low-income schools in Chile to test the effects and behavioral changes triggered by a program that sends attendance, grade, and classroom behavior information to parents via weekly and monthly text messages. Our 18-month intervention raised average math GPA by 0.09 of a standard deviation and increased the share of students satisfying attendance requirements for grade promotion by 4.5 percentage points. Treatment effects were larger for students at higher risk of later grade retention and dropout. We find some evidence of positive classroom spillovers. Leveraging existing school inputs to implement a light-touch, cost-effective information intervention can improve education outcomes in lower-income settings.
    JEL: D8 I25 N36
    Date: 2021–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:28581&r=all
  5. By: Guido Neidhöfer (ZEW); Nora Lustig (Tulane University); Mariano Tommasi (Universidad de San Andres)
    Abstract: The shock on human capital caused by COVID-19 is likely to have long lasting consequences, especially for children of low-educated families. Applying a counterfactual exercise we project the effects of school closures and other lockdown policies on the intergenerational persistence of education in 17 Latin American countries. First, we retrieve detailed information on school lockdowns and on the policies enacted to support education from home in each country. Then, we use this information to estimate the potential impact of the pandemic on schooling, high school completion, and intergenerational associations. In addition, we account for educational disruptions related to household income shocks. Our findings show that, despite that mitigation policies were able to partly reduce instructional losses in some countries, the educational attainment of the most vulnerable could be seriously affected. In particular, the likelihood of children from low educated families to attain a secondary schooling degree could fall substantially.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Lockdowns, Human capital, School closures, Intergenerational persistence, Education, Inequality, Latin America
    JEL: I24 I38 J62
    Date: 2021–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:tul:wpaper:2104&r=all

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